Study Guide

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

As You Like It Characters

List of Characters

Duke Senior—An exiled Duke, living in banishment in the Forest of Arden.

Duke Frederick—Duke Senior's brother; usurper of his dukedom.

Amiens—A courtier and singer who attends Duke Senior in exile.

First and Second Lords—Courtiers who attend Duke Senior in exile.

Jaques—A melancholy philosopher who resides with the exiled Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden.

Le Beau—A foppish courtier attending Duke Frederick.

Charles—A wrestler at the court of Duke Frederick.

Oliver—Eldest son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys and heir to his fathers estate.

Jaques de Boys—The middle son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys.

Orlando—Youngestson of the late Sir Rowland de Boys who falls in love with Rosalind.

Adam—A loyal, elderly servant in the household of the late Sir Rowland de Boys who accompanies Orlando to the Forest of Arden.

Dennis—Another servant in the household of the late Sir Rowland de Boys.

Touchstone—A clown at the court of Duke Frederick who accompanies Rosalind and Celia into exile.

Sir Oliver Martext—A clergyman.

Corin—An old shepherd who lives near the Forest of Arden. Silvius-A young, lovelorn shepherd.

William—A simpleminded young man.

Hymen—The god of marriage.

Rosalind—Daughter of the banished Duke Senior who falls in love with Orlando.

Celia—Rosalind's loyal friend and daughter of Duke Frederick.

Phebe—A shepherdess.

Audrey—A country wench.

As You Like It Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Rosalind

Rosalind (ROHZ-eh-lihnd), who is disguised as Ganymede (GAN-eh-meed) in the forest scenes, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior. A witty, self-possessed young woman, she accepts whatever fortune brings, be it love or exile, with gaiety and good sense. She is amused by the ironic situations arising from her disguise as a youth, and she wryly recognizes the humorous aspects of her growing love for Orlando, whose passion she pretends to be curing. Her central place in the lives of her companions is epitomized in the final scene, in which she sorts out the tangled skeins of romance and, with Orlando, joins three other couples before Hymen, the god of marriage.

Orlando

Orlando (ohr-LAN-doh), the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, the late ally of Rosalind’s father. Although his elder brother mistreats him and neglects his education, he reveals his gentle birth in his manner and appearance. His love for Rosalind provokes extravagantly romantic gestures, but the deeper feeling of which he is capable is evident in his concern for his faithful old servant Adam, as well as in his fidelity to his sweetheart.

Celia

Celia (SEE-lee-uh), Rosalind’s gentle cousin, who refuses to let her depart alone for the Forest of Arden. She, too, is gay and witty, ready to exchange quips with Touchstone and tease Rosalind about her love for Orlando. When she meets Orlando’s brother Oliver, however, she succumbs to Cupid even more rapidly than did her cousin.

Touchstone

Touchstone, Duke Frederick’s clever fool, who accompanies his master’s daughter Celia and Rosalind into the Forest of Arden, much to the amusement of Jaques and to the consternation of the old shepherd Corin, who finds himself damned for never having been at court, according to Touchstone’s logic. The fool, more than any of the other characters, remains at heart a courtier, even in Arcadia, but he returns from the forest with a country wench as his bride.

Jaques

Jaques (JAY-kweez), a hanger-on of Duke Senior’s court in Arden, a professional man of melancholy who philosophizes on the “seven ages of man.” He is fascinated by the presence in the forest of a “motley fool,” and he delights in Touchstone’s explanations of court formalities. He remains in the forest when his lord recovers his dukedom, and he goes off to observe and comment on the unexpected conversion of Duke Frederick.

Oliver

Oliver, Orlando’s greedy, tyrannical brother, who tries to deprive him of both wealth and life. Sent by Duke Frederick to find his brother or forfeit all his lands, he is rescued by Orlando from a lioness. This kindness from his mistreated brother gives him new humanity, and he becomes a worthy husband for Celia.

Duke Frederick

Duke Frederick, Celia’s strong, self-centered father, the usurper. Fearing her popularity with the people, he arbitrarily sends Rosalind away to her exiled father. Later, equally unreasonably, he banishes Orlando for being the son of an old enemy and then sets Oliver wandering in search of the brother he despises. He is reported at the end of the play to have retired from the world with an old hermit.

Duke Senior

Duke Senior, Rosalind’s genial father, banished by his brother Duke Frederick. He holds court under the greenwood trees, drawing amusement from hunting, singing, and listening to Jaques’ melancholy philosophy in the golden world of Arden.

Silvius

Silvius (SIHL-vee-uhs), a lovesick young shepherd. He asks Ganymede to help him win his scornful sweetheart Phebe.

Phebe

Phebe (FEE-bee), a disdainful shepherdess. Rebuked by Ganymede for her cruelty to Silvius, she promptly becomes enamored of Ganymede. She promises, however, to wed Silvius if she refuses Ganymede; she does so once Rosalind reveals her identity.

Audrey

Audrey, Touchstone’s homely, stupid, and good-hearted country wench.

William

William, Audrey’s equally simpleminded rustic suitor.

Corin

Corin (KOHR-ihn), a wise, well-meaning old shepherd. He gives good counsel to William and expresses the virtues of the simple life in his cross-purposes discussion of court and country with Touchstone.

Adam

Adam, a faithful old servant of Orlando’s family. He accompanies his young master into the forest.

Jaques

Jaques, the brother of Orlando and Oliver. He brings the news of Duke Frederick’s retirement to the forest.

Sir Oliver Martext

Sir Oliver Martext, a “hedge-priest” hired by Touchstone to marry him to Audrey in somewhat dubious rites.

Le Beau

Le Beau (leh boh), Duke Frederick’s pompous attendant.

Charles

Charles, a champion wrestler challenged and defeated by Orlando.

Amiens

Amiens (AY-mee-ehnz), one of Duke Senior’s lords.

Dennis

Dennis, Oliver’s servant.

Hymen

Hymen (HI-mehn), the god of marriage.

As You Like It Character Analysis

Note on the Character Analysis

Note: As You Like It is a formulaic comedy in which love and good must ultimately triumph. As such, it is...

(The entire section is 87 words.)

Celia (Character Analysis)

Celia is the daughter of Duke Frederick and lives at the palace. After her father ousts Duke Senior, Duke Senior's daughter Rosalind, Celia's...

(The entire section is 374 words.)

Frederick (Character Analysis)

Duke Frederick is the younger brother of Duke Senior and has somehow gained enough power to banish him from the court. He plunders the...

(The entire section is 346 words.)

Jaques (Character Analysis)

A lord attending the banished Duke Senior, Jaques seems less enthusiastic about the natural simplicity of Arden as the other characters...

(The entire section is 483 words.)

Oliver (Character Analysis)

Oliver is Orlando's older brother and takes over the responsibility of raising him. He so dislikes Orlando that when the brothers quarrel,...

(The entire section is 361 words.)

Orlando (Character Analysis)

Orlando is the youngest son of the deceased Sir Rowland de Boys and a brother to Oliver. He resents the harsh treatment he receives at...

(The entire section is 564 words.)

Rosalind (Character Analysis)

Rosalind is Celia's cousin and daughter to Duke Senior. When her father is banished by Celia's father, Duke Frederick, Rosalind lives with...

(The entire section is 699 words.)

Touchstone (Character Analysis)

Touchstone is a clown, or fool, in Duke Frederick's household. He may not be a vigorous male character, but he is a man nonetheless, and...

(The entire section is 464 words.)

Other Characters (Descriptions)

Adam
Adam is the faithful, old servant of Sir Rowland de Boys, father to Oliver and Orlando. When Sir Rowland dies,...

(The entire section is 2468 words.)